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Old 12-18-2005, 04:50 PM
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Rat Rod - where to start?

After years of looking for a good starter project, I finally dove in and picked up a 1930 Ford Model A Sedan - it's got the original engine and it runs, the body is straight and it's basically a blank canvas without major problems.

I understand the basic philosophy of rat rodding, and I am planning to scrounge, swap and fabricate the things I need for the car - but where does a guy start? I don't have a bunch of money to throw at it, but I can't wait to start turning the wrench.

I'm hoping members could reminisce about their first ratter and discuss where they started on their project? I want to keep organized in what I want to do, and still keep it running (until I get around to doing major work on the chassis).

Thanks for everyone's input.

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Old 12-18-2005, 04:56 PM
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box the frame for a v 8
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Old 12-18-2005, 04:59 PM
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Steves right...the best place to start is the frame.......Decide what drivetrain that you want to go with, and go from there.
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Old 12-19-2005, 07:10 AM
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I Agree , You Got To Take It Down To The Frame. Start At The Bottom And Work Up. Like Most Things You Cant Start At The Top. Take It Apart, Box It Up , Label It , And Start Working On The Frame And Suspension , While Deciding On What Drive Train To Use. I Personally Am A Ford Man So Naturally I Suggest A Ford Power Plant And Tranny. And With A Car That Old You Need To Inspect The Frame Even Though The Rest Of It May Appear To Be In Really Great Shape. And Boxing In The Frame Is A Good Idea , I Have Boxed In All Rods I Have Done.
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Old 12-19-2005, 07:35 AM
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You indicated that you were building low budget, and wanted to keep the car driveable for as long as possible.

First thing I would do is look for a low buck donor car for the drivetrain. You know like a Caprice, Impala, LTD, etc. etc. You can find a running donor for $200-$300 and drive the car to see if the engine and trans work to your satisfaction BEFORE purchase. THEN you can take it home, tear it down, detail the engine and trans to your liking. THEN tear your sedan down and box the frame to ready it for your new powerplant. That lessens your 'down' time considerably.

And as far as donor cars, I have found and '83 LTD with a great running 102,000 mile 302 and an AOD for $300. They can be found for less with patience, but this was agood one and I didn't want it to get away. I don't even have a project in mind for it yet.

My two centavos,
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